Discoveries, Fashion Reviews, Fashion/Beauty
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3 Guidelines to Choosing the Perfect Celebration Dress

In honor of all women around the world through the International Women’s Day, I thought of writing about having a celebration dress. First, I’d like to share a story of how I got my own. I saw this Ted Baker ad last December 2014 from a department store in Auckland where I worked, and I thought “Wow, that’s a lovely dress.” I never heard of Ted Baker prior to this. To give you an idea, summer season here in New Zealand is from December to February.

This is the picture I saw that was included in the Summer 2014-2015 ad for Ted Baker. I love the name of the dress, Carlii Orchid Print.

Usually I would ignore ads especially when it’s a designer item. But this one, for some strange reason, I cannot stop thinking about it. It seemed to beckon me to buy it soon. I knew I needed to celebrate my birthday in a big way, not only because I don’t usually celebrate it by having people over at the house, but also because I’d like to celebrate how far I’ve come from being depressed to being happy. To celebrate the day when I have finally decided to let go of the things that no longer help and serve my highest purpose in life. But because of the price, I didn’t buy it.

A few weeks later, I saw a lady among the crowd walking past the store who wore the same design and I thought to have a second look. The dress has only two sizes left, 1 and 5. But as it was still in the original price, I just left it for a while.

On February the store had a month-long end of season summer sale where items were discounted up to 50% or 60% off. I had another look, and the same sizes are still available, so finally decided to try it on. Except for the underarm area of the dress which was a bit loose, the dress fits. But then decided to leave it because the discount was only 35% off. So I thought of waiting again until the Final Reductions week to see if the store will reduce the price further. When that week came, they did reduce the price further to 50% off. And since I have a staff discount, I finally bought the dress on 13 February 2015.

The challenging thing was I had to hide this dress from my partner as I would like him to see it on my birthday. I only had his Mum check it out as I initially thought of having it altered a bit, but soon abandoned the idea as it may ruin the entire design. But she did reveal to me that this dress would pack really well as it wouldn’t crease that much. As long as I bring a clothing paper with this dress, it would work. And also, she said that if I have a very big padded bra, it would solve the problem of loose underarm area. And you know what, it indeed did not crease that much and also happened to have a big padded bra.


The Ted Baker Carlii Orchid Print Dress I wore in Tauranga on my birthday 5th March 2015.

And so on my birthday, we went to Tauranga and Mount Maunganui to celebrate. When he saw me in the dress, he thought it was lovely. The best part of it was that almost everyone in the city centre where we had dinner at few restaurants were looking at us. I thought they might be looking at the dress and thought it was nice too. Not to brag or anything, but I just noticed the women’s eyes lit up when my partner and I walked on the waterfront. I felt like a fully fledged grown woman wearing that dress, and for that I will feel each time I wear it.

Now here are the following tips when choosing the perfect celebration dress.

1.) Choose a dress that really, really personally speaks to you.

A friend once shared that when an item speaks to him, that’s when he knew he should buy it no matter what. I don’t particularly know how a particular dress or any item for that matter may speak to you, but what I do know is that when you have bought nice clothes for yourself, you will eventually know that when a design appeals to you, a voice or a feeling would suggest you buy it.

2.) It takes practice. When you know what you like in a dress, it will eventually lead you to your own perfect celebration dress.

I have bought dresses for a few years now. And I don’t just choose any dress. I choose those with color, those that seem to look like a painting of some sorts, and that speaks to me even when I don’t need it at that time. This applies to any other type of clothing actually. Most of the times, I also consider if it would fit. But since coming here to New Zealand, I have added the option of whether the item can be altered a bit to suit my body size.

3.) Be patient. Be very patient.

When a dress speaks to you, don’t just buy it right away. Especially when you only have limited budget or even limited amount of money, it pays to be patient. But if you have a bigger clothing budget, no problem, you can buy it straight away. There were some clothes I have initially regretted for not buying but have forgotten about it afterward. This particular dress, however, I thought I will not be able to forget it so easily.

Some dresses would speak to you, others would not. You would know the moment you see it. If you like it, it speaks to you. If not, it doesn’t.

It pays to think the upcoming purchase through specially if it’s one you don’t normally buy as it should last you for many years. I’ve had clothes I bought which some of them I still wear now. Another work colleague of mine did tell me that buying expensive clothes last longer than the cheaper ones. Well, to each his own.

It also pays to research when the upcoming sales are and ask the store managers or staff members about it. Although the stores are pretty clever to not reveal the upcoming sales for the year, simply remember the last year’s sales when you can.

No matter where you are at in life, there’s a time when you would need to have a dress. Whether you can afford many or even just one, make it the one that would personally speak to you, beckons you to buy it no matter how reasonable or high the price is. Having a celebration dress will make you feel like a woman, no matter what the occasion you’re wearing it for.

I have created a hashtag #celebrationdress for us to help celebrate as women starting today. So feel free to share your dresses with me on Twitter and Instagram.

Anything else I missed, kindly share your views by commenting below. Otherwise, if you like it, kindly share to your friends as sharing is caring! Until then, have a lovely day my friends.

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